Beware: Non-Jewish "Scribes"
Please feel free to print this article and distribute it in your educational projects about STa"M,
including the citation at the bottom of this page in your reprints.
Is it true that Arabs and missionaries are writing and selling mezuzot?
Yes! A Yeshiva student recently testified that he saw an Arab in Jerusalem's old city writing a megillat Esther, the scroll of Esther used for Purim. For some reason the Arab wrote the Hebrew words of the scroll from left to right. According to the yeshiva student, the Arab's writing was quite nice and someone was eventually deceived into purchasing that megillah for Purim.
Both missionaries and "Jews for J" write mezuzot that are now being offered for sale on the Internet at a messianic web site. On their web site they state: "MS Arts is a small group of believers in … who have been commissioned by … to produce hand-scribed scripture in the form of mezuzah, tefillin, and sefer torah."
Isn't it enough that the person selling the mezuzot is Jewish, especially if he is an orthodox Jew? What about my Temple's gift shop in which our Rabbi himself oversees everything that's being sold?
Even if the merchant is a reliable and trustworthy Jew, if he doesn't take the necessary measures to verify the integrity and reliability of the scribes whose mezuzot or tefillin he is selling, you should not purchase from him unless you can do such checking yourself.
Who distributes such mezuzot?
There are several distributors, some of whom are situated in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We recently had a disheartening conversation with one of them. This wholesaler emphasized that he does not accept any returns on the mezuzot and tefillin he sells and asked that they be resold only to non-orthodox Jews. "The items we sell are fine for them since they are not observant," he claims. This individual also admitted that he never bothers to open and check any of the tefillin that he sells and would never wear them himself. He bragged about the fact that more than twenty-five hundred retailers nationwide purchase their tefillin and mezuzot from him!
In contrast to this sad picture, at HaSOFER all of our Tefillin and Mezuzot are kosher. All our staff as well as all outside individuals who supply us with STa"M are certified by recognized Orthodox rabbinical organizations. Every Jew deserves kosher tefillin and mezuzot, and even if your budget is limited we have reasonably-priced kosher items for you. We gladly provide both the name and source of the rabbinical certification of the sofer who wrote every mezuzah or tefillin parshah we sell.
The Mezuzah Gram, The Monthly Publication of the Chicago Mezuzah & Tefillin Campaign; Volume 2, Issue 1; Cheshvan 5761/Nov. 2000
Permission is granted to use and/or reprint any text portions of this material on condition that this is done for your personal, non-commercial use and the following quotation is included at the top or bottom of every page: "This material thanks to and property of HaSofer Moshe Flumenbaum. For reuse contact http://www.HaSOFER.com or info@HaSOFER.com".